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Everyone expected Apple to unveil the iPad Mini at its Tuesday press event, but the company gave attendees a bit of a surprise with a host of other new or updated products as well. The company rolled out a new version of iBooks, two new iMacs, the Fusion drive, an updated MacBook, a new Mac Mini and, most surprisingly, a fourth generation iPad released just seven months after the last iPad update.
Writing for eWeek, Michelle Maisto noted, "Apple was expected to introduce an iPad Mini Oct. 23 and it delivered—but not before showing off a fourth-generation iPad, two outrageously thin all-in-one iMacs with a new storage option called the Fusion Drive, an updated Mac Mini and a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display. By the end of the 75-minute presentation, CEO Tim Cooked was beaming, telling the audience, 'We hope you love these products as much as we loved creating them.'"
Bonnie Cha and Lauren Goode from All Things D observed, "The new iMac is the thinnest desktop computer Apple has made to date, measuring just 5mm at the edges — 80 percent thinner than the previous model, if you’re counting. It’s also eight pounds lighter than its predecessor and making the old iMac look like, as AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka aptly puts it, 'a sad fatty hanging out with Louis C.K. at the Cinnabon.'" They added, "Inside the sleek all-in-one PC is a new Apple Fusion Drive, which combines 128 gigabytes of Flash with a one terabyte or 3TB hard-disk drive (HDD). Combining hard drives and flash storage isn’t a new concept; hybrid drives do the same thing. But what appears to be different about Fusion Drive is the software intelligence behind it."
Patrick May, Jeremy C. Owens and Troy Wolverton from The MercuryNews reported, "The first actual update Cook announced regarded iBooks, Apple's marketplace for electronic books, which Cook noted had 1.5 million books available and sold 400 million to customers worldwide. iBooks 3.0 will be a free download and include continual scrolling -- negating swipes to turn pages -- and new sharing options for Facebook and Twitter. Cook also later announced new iBooks authoring software, iBooks Author, available Tuesday."
But the star of the event was the iPad Mini. MacWorld's Dan Moren and Jason Snell reviewed the device, writing, "If you think the iPad mini is just a small iPad, well, you’d be right. But it really needs to be seen to be understood. It’s tiny, light, and has great fit and finish. Its screen is good, but most definitely not of Retina quality. When you see one, and hold one, you’ll know if you want one. We’d direct you to your nearest Apple Store to check one out for yourself...but until November 2, you won’t be able to."